U.S. 9th District Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) addressed the at their monthly noon luncheon on May 3 at the .
Rep. Smith used the opportunity to introduce himself to the Mercer Island business community and outlined several of his core beliefs, which include an emphasis on national security, economic growth, education, bringing down the deficit and dealing with the national debt.
Rep. Smith described himself as pro growth and said that he wants to work to relieve the pressure on the middle class and protect economic opportunity.
"Innovation and technology are critical to that," Rep. Smith said in his remarks.
Rep. Smith said that he appreciates the tech focus of the newly-drawn 9th Congressional District and wants to leverage such technology to grow the economy.
"Right now our greatest challenge is obviously getting the economy going again," Rep. Smith said in his remarks.
Rep. Smith also outlined his support for education and job training, saying that money needs to be spent on "applicable education" that develops skilled, employable individuals.
Rep. Smith addressed the concerns that many have about the budget deficit and the national debt, saying that much of the problem stems from the general population wanting to maintain or increase services while being unwilling to pay additional taxes.
"That's a problem," Rep. Smith said in his remarks.
He added that both the people and the politicians are in denial about the problem, saying that the longer they wait to fix it the larger it becomes and the more uncertainty it creates.
"It's a right now problem for all of us," Rep. Smith said in his remarks.
Rep. Smith went on to address health care, saying that the current system needs a great deal of fixing and that issues like access and cost controls need to be addressed.
Rep. Smith also touched on the diversity of the district, his work on immigration issues, and his willingness to find bipartisan solutions, something he said isn't easy in the current politcal climate.
"We have never been this fundamentally divided as a nation," Rep. Smith said in his remarks.
Rep. Smith conluded by saying that constituent services is another focus of his office, saying that he strives to be responsive and supportive of his constituent's needs.
"That's what being a member of the house of representatives means," Rep. Smith said in his remarks.
Rep. Smith is seeking a ninth term in office by representing essentially a new congressional district, redrawn earlier this year by the State Redistricting Commission. The new 9th U.S. District now stretches from Tacoma to Kirkland and includes Mercer Island and Bellevue.
Rep. Smith is the Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee where he is a strong advocate for military personnel and their families. He has also served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
"I really am excited about the new district," Rep. Smith said in his remarks. "I look foward to earning the support of the new area."
Mercer Island is currently represented in Congress by as part of the 8th Congressional District, but for the November 2012 General Election. The new districts were formally adopted by the State Legislature on Feb. 1, and Mercer Island's transition to the 9th District will be complete when the 113th U.S. Congress is sworn in on Jan. 3, 2013.
Smith's only declared challenger in the congressional race is Parkland Republican Jim Postma. Seattle City Councilman Bruce Harrell, a Democrat, has also indicated he is interested in the seat but hasn't officially announced his intention to enter the race. The filing deadline for the ballot is May 18, 2012.